AEDs Now Available in Every State Park

September 27, 2016

For Immediate Release – Sept. 26, 2016

Contact – Dawn Dawson-House,, 803-734-1779


AEDs are now available in every South Carolina State Park


Columbia – South Carolina’s State Park Service has wrapped up its campaign to put a heart defibrillator at all 47 park locations after receiving significant grants from the South Carolina Office of Rural Health and the South Carolina Chapter of the American College of Cardiologists. In all, South Carolina State Parks received grants and donations worth more than $55,000 to buy the AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators.)

“We are really grateful for all the support we received statewide when we launched this effort to put an AED in every state park,” said Phil Gaines, Director of the South Carolina State Park Service. “About 8 million people visit state parks annually, and a lot of them are involved in some strenuous activity like hiking, biking or canoeing. We wanted to improve our ability to respond to a medical emergency if necessary.”

“We applaud the prioritization that the State Parks staff have placed on obtaining AEDs for all of our parks this year,” said Melinda Merrell, Senior Program Director of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health. “We’re even more delighted that there was an opportunity to partner together to ensure that these critical, life-saving devices are available in rural and remote areas of South Carolina.”

“The South Carolina Chapter of the American College of Cardiology is committed to improving the cardiac care of our fellow South Carolinians,” said Dr. Jerry Watson, chapter governor and Fellow of the American College of Cardiology at Grand Strand Heart & Vascular Care in Myrtle Beach. “We are grateful to the State Parks Department for informing us of the significant need for AEDs in our state parks, and our chapter is proud to help fill that need.”

Several local hospitals and rescue units have made donations. The South Carolina Hospital Association helped publicize the AED campaign with state hospitals. An Eagle Scout in Pawleys Island also helped raise money to buy two AEDs for state parks. 

For more information about state parks, contact Dawn Dawson-House at or 803-734-1779.


Need more information?   Sam Queen
Director of Corporate Communications
SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201
| 803-734-1779
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